ON THE ROAD WITH U2: My Musical Journey
by Deena Dietrich @OnTheRoadWithU2
After the U2 360 Tour ended in 2011, I wrote my U2 tours memoir recalling all 75 U2 concerts I had been to since 1992. I had met a literary agent at the U2 show in Anaheim who offered to help me publish my book. When that did not work out, I decided to self publish as so many do. I did a little research and found that Amazon has a great company called CreateSpace where I could publish my book. I uploaded my file, designed the cover, and I was a published author!
I realized a dream by writing and publishing my U2 memoir. You could say I have found what I was looking for, which is ironic since my favorite song is “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” This song has literally been my theme song my entire life.
I have been enjoying the journey searching for what makes me happy, pursuing my passions. Now because of U2, actually because of Larry Mullen, I have found what I’m looking for. Because of Larry Mullen, there is U2.
Because of U2, I have traveled all over the United States visiting great places, meeting great people, seeing 75 great U2 shows and writing about all of it.
My favorite U2 concert was on the Elevation Tour in Providence, Rhode Island on October 31, 2001, Larry Mullen’s 40th birthday. This is what happened,
We wore our “Larry Mullen Band” shirts standing up front at the rail between Bono and Adam. I held up the birthday card for Larry as U2 walked on stage, but I don’t think Larry saw it. There were many signs that night including one saying, “Bono let Larry sing,” but that did not happen. During “Elevation,” Bono sang, “Celebration” then said, “Happy Birthday.” After “Stuck in a Moment,” Larry’s 40th birthday celebration began. Bono led the audience in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to Larry. Then a birthday cake was brought out, and Larry pretended to throw it out into the audience. Bono said, “Larry likes chocolate cake.” Larry took the microphone and came to the front of the stage to talk while Bono sat behind the drums. Larry said, “Bono can’t play the drums” then continued with “It took me 40 years to get up front. I’m glad I’m spending my birthday with 18,000 of my closest friends. I feel like I could borrow money from you.” Bono asked for a bottle of champagne, which he shook up a la ZooTV and sprayed the audience. Edge took a swig, then Larry drank and continued to drink for the next few songs. After “Kite,” Larry got off the drums and made a B line for me. I got my card and shirt in hand so I could give it to him, but that’s not why he was there. Larry gave me his champagne bottle, with champagne still in it! I couldn’t believe it! Larry wanted to share his birthday with ME! He wanted ME to have a drink on his birthday! I was SO excited I didn’t even know U2 changed the set list and played “Wild Honey.” I thought it was “Staring at the Sun” as in the past shows. I didn’t really come around until “Please.” After “Pride,” Larry came back over to me so I could give him the birthday card and Elvis shirt. I said, “Thank you. Happy Birthday.” He smiled and said, “Thank You.” It wasn’t much of a conversation, but it was very meaningful as Larry looked into my eyes just as he had in Jersey when he gave me his drum stick a few months prior. Later on, Bono noticed our “Larry Mullen Band” shirts, shook his head and smiled.